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PLoS One. 2015 Mar 6;10(3):e0119583. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0119583. eCollection 2015.

Agitation down-regulates immunoglobulin binding protein EibG expression in Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC).

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Institute for Hygiene, Westfälische Wilhelms-University and University Hospital Münster, Robert Koch-Strasse 41, 48149, Münster, Germany.
Department of Pediatrics, Washington University, School of Medicine, Campus Box 8208, 660 S. Euclid, St. Louis, Missouri, 63105, United States of America.


Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) carrying eibG synthesize Escherichia coli immunoglobulin binding protein (EibG). EibG nonspecifically binds to immunoglobulins and tends to aggregate in multimers but is poorly expressed in wild-type strains. To study synthesis of the proteins and their regulation in the pathogens, we identified natural growth conditions that increased EibG synthesis. EibG proteins as well as corresponding mRNA were highly expressed under static growth conditions while shearing stress created by agitation during growth repressed protein synthesis. Further regulation effects were driven by reduced oxygen tension, and pH up-regulated EibG expression, but to a lesser extent than growth conditions while decreased temperature down-regulated EibG. Bacteria with increased EibG expression during static growth conditions showed a distinct phenotype with chain formation and biofilm generation, which disappeared with motion. High and low EibG expression was reversible indicating a process with up- and down-regulation of the protein expression. Our findings indicate that shear stress represses EibG expression and might reduce bacterial attachments to cells and surfaces.

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